Three dangers from meat must be recognized; (1) animal parasites, such as the trichina sometimes found in pork, (2) poisons developed in the meat by bacteria when it is kept too long or without sufficient refrigeration, this danger being recognized as ptomaine poisoning, (3) bacteria, sometimes present in meat, which are directly injurious to man and which are now held to be the cause of most of the sickness commonly attributed to ptomaine poisoning. Government protection must be given us here, but the housekeeper too has a responsibility. If the raw meat has failed to receive proper inspection, we can protect ourselves by cooking the meat to a degree that will kill any parasite present. For this reason meat should not be served that looks raw or too underdone. The cooked meat should be pink rather than red.
Meat poisoning may be avoided in the first place by exercising great care in regard to the odor of meat. Meat may hang to "ripen," as the butchers say, but one must learn to distinguish between the odor of properly ripened meat, and that of even slightly tainted meat. Quite as important is the rapid cooling of meat, poultry, fish, and soups that are not to be used at once. Cases of digestive disturbance and even actual poisoning sometimes occur when underdone meat, especially lamb, veal, or poultry, remains warm overnight.